Skip to main content

tv   [untitled]    May 18, 2011 3:30am-4:00am PDT

3:30 am
as i mentioned last week, the residential design guidelines approved by the planning commission in 1999, i would just like to focus on one procedural point, and that is that all of the community organizations with which i am familiar and which have opposed the current draft of the housing element all are signed off on the second draft. one hates to see expensive staff time wasted. it seems to me that the logical thing to do, especially in view of what has been done after the fact with the eir, would be simply to go back to the second draft, and that is where i would like you to consider going. thank you.
3:31 am
>> i am a former elected member of the order directors of the association of bay area government. i was elected in 1978. 1974, 1976, and 1978. we were a group that was supposed to supply input to hud. we were elected spontaneously. i was one of the once elected. we found themselves in a strange situation. the pressure was to build, build, build. unions like the ones you have seen today, many of them would gladly repave golden gate park with the pyramids in egypt if they could get the scale, let's be honest. the same situation with men developers and spur. they want to build, build, build. here again with this element 3, again, they want to build,
3:32 am
build, build anything anywhere as long as it produces more business. frankly, the city is already pretty well buildup. yeutter not need the extra population. you do not want it. the city is already very densely populated. there's a lot of quick money to be made on this, but it is not in the public interest. thank you very much. >> my name is steve patrick. i am a 22-year resident of st. francis with. the only comment i want to make -- everything has been said -- i just hope that the process of how this decision is getting made is handled properly. because i find myself in the strange position of paying homeowners choose to sue lawyers being paid by my property taxes. so if you could please just get back to a good dialogue.
3:33 am
seems like you were pretty close their with the version two. maybe we could avoid the waist and move forward in a constructive way, so thank you very much for your time. >> good afternoon, supervisors. i am one of the gang of members that is here. i happen to live in st. francis wood. i have lived in many areas in san francisco as both a renter and homeowner, and i happen to be the mother of one of two kids, one of who is missing soccer practice right now because i thought it was important enough to come here today and just make a comment on two points. i have to agree with just about everything that has been said by everyone who is here today talking about the way the third draft has materialized. contrary to the expectations of
3:34 am
various leaders from the homeowners' associations around the city who were happy with many hours of work put in to draft two, only to find something it sounds like was a little bit sneaky materialized suddenly in the form of draft 3 in changes to zoning requirements and the 30 magical words that will make everything miserable for a lot of us in some of the neighborhoods that have single-family homes and would like to keep it that way. i learned about this at the last minute. i do not know how all that came about, but it sounds like it would be why is it input could be obtained from the people who spent so many hours trying to make draft two happen. we would like to see that proceed with proper hearing. thank you very much. supervisor mar: thank you.
3:35 am
there is anyone else who would like to speak, we're going to close public comment after this speaker. >> good afternoon, supervisors. this hearing today was not noticed adequately pursuant to board rules, which require the advertisement notice that items be clearly identified, and that was not done. i request that you rescind the action taken on may 10 to certify the housing element, and that can be done by suspending rules and reconsidering at a full board meeting. this is a critically important matter, and really needs more time for hearing. land use -- rather law was abrogated because during the course of the stay for the
3:36 am
decision on the appeal that was filed, there were major legislation actions, which increased the number of zoning districts from 26 to 44, and most of the new zoning districts are residential transit-oriented zoning districts. that was in violation of the state and in violation of our chapter 31.17b. there should have been no action taken. the ceqa analysis itself was inadequate because the zoning district changes -- the 2004 zoning district changes were used as the base line because those were existing. the zoning districts that existed prior to this change should have been used as a baseline for analysis. also, the legislation indicated
3:37 am
consistency with the general plan and priority policy 101, and that was not the case because we had no general plan in effect at that point. supervisor mar: thank you. seeing no other people lined up for public comment, public comment is closed. colleagues, are there questions for staff? supervisor wiener. supervisor wiener: i have a question for planning staff. there were a couple of references made that this housing element would allow for eight-story buildings in wide swaths of the city. good planning please clarify or respond to those comments related to the eight-story buildings? >> good afternoon, supervisor. thank you very much for the
3:38 am
opportunity. we have responded to these misconceptions many times over the last three months since draft 3 came out, and every time there is a new hearing, there is the people that unfortunately keep hearing these misconceptions. i would like to quickly go through a line of the items, which are unfortunate misconceptions about the housing element and what it does not do. this, it does not call for increased density in any district, particularly in rh1 or rh2 districts. in fact, it explicitly offers protection in a sentence that was not included in previous elements by saying that height and bulk in these districts should be preserved. it also says the secondary units should only be considered within the community planning process. the reason the policy is there is in one of our recent area plants in the eastern neighborhoods, one of the neighborhoods actually requested that we explore the option of secondary units.
3:39 am
not a good idea to permit them anywhere in the city. it is a good idea when you are doing a close-up community planning process that looks at the benefits of that one area to explore whether it makes sense or not, and that is all the housing element permits. two, it does not support increased density or other zoning changes along transit lines. it is very clear on that. there is a policy that says when the planning commission is offering its discretionary approval on projects that are within the permitted zoning -- again, with a committed selling, not increased density or high -- it should look at whether they are near transit, and if they are, consider that and support them. no increase density. all the projects within the existing zoning limits. 3, there are no changes to denigrate ccr language. only change was to clarify what is possible, and that is simply that the planning commission
3:40 am
cannot of course codifications made by neighborhoods as they themselves are not adopted. they can be aware of them and supportive of them, and the document calls out that they should do those things. they cannot enforce them. i think those were the major points to address. if there's anything else i can clarify for you, i would be very happy to do so. eight-story buildings. there are no changes to heights. there are no eight-story buildings. there are no changes to open space, parking, or height referenced in this document. again, there is a significant amount of fear in the community. we have tried to meet with the neighborhoods that would meet with us to explain this and verify what the document says peter our directors specifically held two forums to explain to people face-to-face that this causes that changes in height, no changes to rh1 and rh2 density, the changes to open space, no changes to parking, but unfortunately, we do not have good success of getting that across. supervisor wiener: can you talk
3:41 am
briefly about how the housing element does interact with changes in density? them strictly through community planning processes. it is ironic. it was best said by mr. wedding on the previous item, which we were here listening to, where he said parkmerced went through a community planning process which changes were discussed, vetted, etc. -- >> [inaudible] supervisor mar: please do not yell out from the audience. >> we basically mandated that the zoning changes occur through the planning process as we have had such success with prior to this. thank you. supervisor cohen: could you briefly describe what the community planning process looks like? >> yes. absolutely. this is straight out of the housing element, the policy that exists. it is policy 1.4, and it says
3:42 am
"ensure community-based planning processes are used to generate changes in planning controls, which means changes to density, parking, height, all the things people have been talking about. it says clearly that any new community based planning process should be initiated in partnership with the neighborhood, involve a full range of city stakeholders, should be initiated by the board of supervisors with the support of the district supervisor through their adoption of the planning department or other overseeing the agency's work program, and the scope of the process should be approved by the planning commission. i would be happy to give you any other details if it would be helpful. supervisor cohen: could you explain to me how the housing element will support middle- class housing needs? >> absolutely, and that is a critical need within the city that has been emerging particularly within the past decade. the first thing the housing element does is recognize middle-class and middle-income adds an actual income level. when we get our regional housing its allocation from the state, they give us market make -- the split into four categories --
3:43 am
market rate, moderate income, low income -- i'm sorry. low-income and very low income. we added another category called the middle and come to represent basically the category between moderate income and market rate, which represents the working level of san franciscans. it is not recognized by the state because it matters in high-cost urban areas. it is a problem we share with sacramento, with l.a., with oakland, etc. and obviously many of the cities where costs are very high. first, the housing element recognizes that income level and assigns a need to it, which we do not have to do by state law, but we do because it is important to us as san franciscans. in terms of affordability, the housing element cannot provide funding. it is a policy document. it cannot add dollars as much as we need to, but it does provide some pretty creative strategies
3:44 am
that are new towards reaching this middle income needs. it enforces the idea of acquisition and rehabilitation of our existing housing so we take the housing stock that is there. not about building new housing. and for the mayor's office of housing and our nonprofit partners, make that into housing that can be secured over the long term through community land trusts, 3-d restrictions to make sure it is available for moderate and middle-income residents. it looks at expanding the inflationary option, which is something we piloted in eastern neighborhoods, which allows developers to explore the option of providing more housing than they would under our existing inclusion their programs toward middle income households. we get more units provided at a slightly lower income level. and it promotes the idea of affordable by design, which is designed housing as efficiently and effectively as you can to keep the cost down, and that is something that is a market-based strategy. we are trying to work with
3:45 am
developers so does not require a subsidy, and we build units that are less expensive and makes sense for people at those income levels. supervisor cohen: really quit -- when you noticed your meetings and held meetings about the housing element, your proposal, were they done strictly in english, or was out reach in a multilingual approach? >> it was based on whatever neighborhood we went to. we have translation services available whenever requested and in neighborhoods where we knew they were needed, we brought them. i'm sorry, all mailed notices went out in three languages, as is our practice. supervisor cohen: thank you very much, and i wanted to thank you for your work and throw in for comment, often many of the committee members talk about diversity and the rich diversity in san francisco and how that is a value most people like to
3:46 am
maintain, but when you look at the prisons that were commenting, there was little ethnic and first city brought to the table for this hearing. i would like to bring to your attention that i have been in touch with members of the asian community as well as african american community. i unfortunately did not hear from the latino community, but that actually are in favor of the housing element, so you have my support. thank you. supervisor mar: i just wanted to add that i know supervisor cohen said the asec and supervisor wiener is on the transportation commission and the seat. in the standings that the housing element is informed by recent demographic changes over the last 10 years, but also creating a more sustainable san francisco and region as well, and i appreciate all the hard work that has gone into this. i think it was 30 or 35 workshops or community meetings,
3:47 am
and i know we have been more sensitive since being sued in 2004, to have a very transparent process, but a number of neighborhood groups mentioned that they feel that the last minute changes in the third version work, they feel, substantively changing the process and unfair, but i would like you to respond with why the third version was necessary and again reiterate the major changes that came from the so- called dirty words in the third version. >> absolutely. thank you. as was aptly stated by supervisor cohen, the voices that you heard today to represent an important voice in san francisco but one component. our job running this process was to listen to all the voices that we heard at the end 35 workshops, the 14 stakeholder meetings, the session we held at it -- the sessions we held at the planning department. all the neighborhood meetings we
3:48 am
went out to across the city, and they were far more diverse than what you're hearing today, and i think the changes that we discuss but at the appeal hearing last monday and i will reiterate today, between draft two and draft 3, there was no bait and switch. we did release the draft 3 to everyone on our mailing list publicly with all the changes shown in strike through so everyone could be clear on the exact words being changed two months in advance of any adoption hearing at the planning commission. we also held two director forms, open to anyone who wished to attend to talk about those changes and the draft that was going to be proposed and ultimately was adopted by the planning commission at the end of march. those changes are pretty minor. i think the one you never the most about is the term -- changing the term "neighborhood- supported" to "community-based." it is intended to insure that all of our community planning
3:49 am
processes are inclusive, including people who may not be able to afford that neighborhood at the time and that we do not restrict it to a neighborhood of of those who might be lucky enough to live in the neighborhood as it is. the neighborhood is still an incredibly important partner, and i believe if you study the language of the housing element, it states that. we just want to make sure that it is not exclusive. another change was regarding a line of explanation. as we talk about how the planning commission and staff should support neighborhood ccnr's, we did clarify that the planning commission could not legally of hold those because they were not documents that have been adopted by them. the last issue of change that i think has been a reference to the policy that talk about supporting projects within existing zoning along transit lines. that is a version of a policy that existed in draft one, was taken out due to some of the voices that you heard today, and misunderstanding in a draft two, and overwhelming response in the public from voices you did not here today, was bought
3:50 am
back in. i do just want to remind you that there are a lot of san franciscans beyond what are in this room. we did our best to try to listen to all of them. i'm sorry we cannot make everyone happy, but i think the document we have actually is relatively balanced and will not do much of what you heard that it will do today. supervisor supervisor wiener: thank you and i want to thank all the members of the public who came out today and came out last week and whether we agree or disagree, it's always very helpful and useful to hear people's perspectives. i'm going to be supporting the housing element. and i do want to explain why. i think someone commented that there wasn't enough discussion at the board when we certified the e.i.r. last week and probably because it was a very long meeting, but i think it is
3:51 am
important whether you agree or disagree with me or any of my colleagues to know where we're coming from. neighborhood character is incredibly important in san francisco and important in the neighborhoods of my district but everywhere throughout the city and i truly believe all of the members of this board deeply value neighborhood character. i know that some people have stated that this housing element is somehow going to eliminate this neighborhood character and make san francisco not san francisco anymore. i don't think that is the case. this is not a rezoning. we have a normal san francisco process for making changes in our neighborhoods in zoning and for anyone who went through the eastern neighborhoods plan, these things can take a decade. they don't happen overnight. they have enormous amounts of community input and to suggest
3:52 am
that anything would happen overly quickly i think just belies what process means in san francisco. i think in the end what it boils down for me, we as a city need to think about going forward over the coming many years, where are we going to put people and how are we going to plan for that. we know that population growth is going to happen in the bay area and the question for san francisco and for other jurisdictions is where are we going to put people so we don't continue to create sprall and cover up our green spaces and our farmland and all the places that we have undermined for decades because of our
3:53 am
carcentric as we have grown out and it's not healthy. we need to go through a planning process so we can plan for that and avoid creating further sprall. a few people were referring to diversity as to whether we keep families in san francisco because this city has not been friendly to families at all times and we have seen families leaving the city for a variety of reasons including because they can't afford to be here. we have a system of t.i.c.'s and condo conversion which has not been family friendly and see all the young families living in t.i.c.'s and the rules that we have have made it very, very hard for them to stay in those
3:54 am
and refinance. we don't create enough middle-income housing and no one who is a stronger advocate for middle-income housing than i am and this will help us create more middle-income housing. you don't help middle-income people who want to be here by constricting the supply of housing so significantly that you then inflate the cost of housing. it may work well for the people who are already here but doesn't work well in the future as new people come and new people create families and i believe the housing element moves us in the right direction in recognizing that reality. so those are a few of the reasons why i will be voting today to support the housing element and i look forward to working with the people in this room and others as we move forward with more specific community plans and more
3:55 am
specific plans for the future of housing in san francisco. and with that, i move to forward this to the board with a positive recommendation. supervisor mar: supervisor cohen, if there are no other comments. i would like to thank you for the hard work. i share some of the concerns from a number of the neighborhood organizations that we have to work harder to make sure it's a meaningful voice for neighborhoods as they're worried about unchecked development, kind of in different neighborhoods, but my understanding is we are not adopting a blanket approval for projects here but more guidance based on demographic changes and transportation needs of our neighborhoods and that the existing community planning processes are the way for neighborhoods to hold in check the different developments that are going through neighborhoods. but i know on the western
3:56 am
neighborhoods in particular, the richmond district, sunset and others, there are strong concerns about the change of character when development moves forward very, very quickly. i wanted to say of the other stake holder groups and the neighborhood organizations, there is the affordable housing organizations as well that have expressed some suggestions to strengthen the housing and infrastructure as well as different developments move forward and developing a stronching mechanism so the linchingage this is and other community-based organizations are at the table as well. and also that we timely data of actual housing numbers, in a better way, so we are informed by quarterly reports of the aggregate reports of housing aprovals, for example, as my understanding, it is required by state law now and also just
3:57 am
getting as timely as possible data on housing production as we move forward with planning in different neighborhoods as well. so i will also be supporting the housing element. if there are no other comments, can we move this forward without objection? >> yes. supervisor mar: are there any other items before us? >> no further items. supervisor mar: then meeting adjourned. thank you everyone. 7:06.
3:58 am
3:59 am